As parents, we are naturally loving and protective of our children and want the best for them. But on a dualistic plane, it is mindful and artful parenting that is needed to retain balance in the care and nurturing of our children.
It is easy to be subconsciously drawn to following the Joneses to load our children with extra classes and expecting them to excel for the money we spent on them in preparation for them to do well in primary school and beyond. But have we taken into account the stress or the pressure that they may feel in the course of having to excel to earn our love and/or approval? Or of the competition to do better than their peers? What about the simplicity of being? The magic of childhood? What our children want vs what we think they should want or rather what we want for them? If we were not brought up to give due consideration to these intangibles, we may not realise their significance in laying the foundational balance for children to grow up centred and aligned with their potential through “unstructured” play and freedom to imagine, to improvise, to trial-and-error without judgment, to express their own feelings and thoughts that they may manifest their dreams with innate creativity from being in a lovingly relaxed space to be who they are in each moment.
In what I call “relaxed awareness”, a child is very likely to come up with its own ideas to navigate its way in life. Parents need not unduly worry but focus instead on giving loving guidance and encouragement, or even inspiration by being living examples for their children to emulate them; and the child will assume its part naturally.
If children’s growing up years are only made up of schedules of attending classes one after another and never have they a moment of being free to “stand and stare” at all; their human nature in the quest to know and assert the Self or to understand the meaning/purpose of life is likely to rise and rebel against being moulded into a robot/automaton following study schedules in which even co-circular activities in schools are largely about training for competition and achieving trophies and medals. A temporary euphoria no doubt but the higher call of nature will soon stir again the search for the panacea of bliss when the winning feeling dies into a void of discontent.
Artful parenting is about taking time for our children: eye contact, loving looks, listening to them talk about their day (with no interruptions of our own thoughts/opinion), hearing their songs, their pleas and their aspirations. It is about supporting and encouraging them to give expression to their soul desires and tapping into their consciousness of potential solutions to the world’s problems if we will let them come into self-realisation in their own time, own space with our loving guidance.